The wait to see which restaurant would transfer into the house quickly to be vacated by Knox Mason at Embassy Suites was not a protracted one. Avi Zenatti and partner Ilana Brodt will transfer Kopita simply down and throughout the road into the brand new house, with plans to open in mid-July.
Avi stated the couple determined a number of months again they wished to broaden Kopita in its present house, together with a bigger kitchen and a rearrangement of the restaurant. They took all of the steps crucial with an architect and metropolis allowing and bought estimates for the work. The estimates have been excessive, which gave him pause.
He and Ilana are pals with Alpesh Patel’s (proprietor of Embassy Suites) household, who typically eat at Kopita. Avi stated the 2 of them have spoken for a very long time about doing one thing attention-grabbing collectively that may add one thing completely different to downtown. When Alpesh instructed Avi that Knox Mason can be leaving their restaurant house in Embassy Suites and requested if Avi was .
It made sense, versus including more cash to the present Kopita location, to imagine a spot that already had the bigger house and kitchen that he’d wished. He stated they talked, and, for him, the problem isn’t creating wealth from the restaurant for himself, however to make sufficient to cowl bills and pay his employees effectively. “My main factor is to supply a spot to work for individuals in Knoxville and to supply a superb wage with medical insurance and advantages.”
His plan consists of increasing his Mediterranean choices to incorporate tastes from different Mediterranean international locations similar to Greece and Morocco. He additionally plans to combine some Indian spices into the meals he prepares. The unique menu gadgets will stay, however each vegan and meat choices might be expanded for the dinner service. Lunch service will provide the identical menu as that at the moment obtainable at Kopita.
He stated every part might be made, as it’s at Kopita, by order. Prep of meals will start every morning, and every part might be made contemporary. He stated he’ll proceed to buy as a lot as potential from space farmers and he’s seeking to broaden these relationships. He’ll get contemporary fish thrice per week to maintain it contemporary. As with Kopita, he’ll proceed to make his personal sauces, contemporary baba ganoush, humus, and can proceed to import his pita from Israel.
Ilana stated the couple desires to supply wholesome meals for town and contemporary meals is necessary. She stated whereas it prices extra, it suits their imaginative and prescient of what they wish to do. She stated, “We all the time had individuals eat at our desk. Once we opened the restaurant, it turned our kitchen outdoors, our extension of our residence.”
The restaurant might be open for lunch and dinner seven days per week. Dinner will conclude at 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm on weekdays and 10:00 pm or 11:00 pm on weekends. There will even be a late-night menu that might be obtainable till midnight and the bar might be open.
Catering will even proceed to be an emphasis, although now with a bigger kitchen. Ilana stated that catering has been very profitable and has change into an more and more giant a part of the enterprise. Avi stated Regal and UT have change into a major a part of their catering enterprise, typically catering to 50 to 150 individuals. Ilana stated many professors come to Kopita for the freshness and healthiness of the meals and that has made the connections that led to catering.
The restaurant will even offer room service within the lodge, a service that has not beforehand been supplied on the lodge. That service, the couple stated, will start a few months after opening.
For the dinner service, white tablecloths might be added, and the menu will broaden to extra “upscale dishes.” He stated there might be meals from Spain, Tunisia, the south of France, and extra. In lots of circumstances the dishes offered might mix the standard meals from the cultures. Moroccan dishes might be served in a table-sized tagine. He plans to make use of spice that overlap in use between India and the Mediterranean to supply thali dishes.
Dinner will characteristic contemporary fish each day, cooked in a Moroccan type. He’ll seemingly have steak, however not cuts generally discovered elsewhere domestically, like maybe, he stated, “a Denver minimize.” Meats might be served on skewers with contemporary salad and greens. There might be a spread of kabobs supplied. He’ll even have a particular goose dish with small items of goose liver that Ilana says is to die for. He’ll additionally provide seasonal dishes because the greens can be found.
Relating to the vegan company, the couple stated 80% or extra of the menu will stay vegan. Moreover, he identified that he goes to pains within the kitchen to maintain the meals separated. Knives, pans and oils used for preparation of meat usually are not used for preparation or cooking of vegan meals, for instance. Kitchen cleanliness as a complete is important to Avi, who will spend the time main as much as the opening ensuring it’s clear to his specs. He stated he sees it as honoring his company. “Good meals and high quality meals start with a clear kitchen.”
For desserts, he stated there might be one that’s cheese based mostly. One other he hopes to supply is a collaboration with Nolan Sherrill, proprietor of Phoenix Pharmacy and Fountain. The milk-based dish, Mehalabiya (there are different spellings), originated in Turkey, however is present in different elements of the Center East. There may additionally be ice-cream from the identical kitchen.
He’ll convey his whole staff of 9 staff, who they have been in a position to preserve collectively throughout the pandemic, with him to the brand new house and can look to broaden to about twenty-five. To that finish, they’re at the moment hiring all positions, together with back-of-house, front-of-house for the restaurant and bartenders for the bar. Ilana stated they’re in search of individuals who can work collectively as household and take pleasure within the restaurant. Avi stated he pays greater than the minimal and pays for medical insurance. Anybody ought to contact Avi at (305)570-9050.
For the couple, he stated their purpose with the galleries and restaurant is to not make a revenue, however to make sufficient to help the enterprise and help the workers whereas offering a superior product. Their cash comes from their actual property transactions, and they’re joyful to pursue their passions of artwork, for her, and meals, for him, with out the strain of needing to make a residing.
Avi stated the 2 of them lived in Jupiter, Florida earlier than transferring to Knoxville. He stated the house was stunning, the water was stunning, “however there was no interplay between the neighbors . . . Since we opened the restaurant and the gallery, we extra pals. All our pals got here from Kopita and the gallery.” He stated a kind of pals is Harrison Ford who has eaten there repeatedly and typically involves Knoxville particularly to eat there. “Think about the chums we are going to meet on the new restaurant!”
Anticipate them to be open by mid-July. The unique location will stay open till they cross the road. He’s hoping to not have any down time. The brand new location will preserve the identical décor aside from the white tablecloths. Plans are underway for the present Kopita house, however that announcement isn’t prepared simply but.
“This restaurant goes to be very distinctive. We’re going to work very arduous. We’re very excited. Come and eat!”